“Born out of the Church Growth movement,” Je Gibson says, “the self-esteem movement in the church has been said to be part of an effort to bring more people back to church; the gospel being compromised in an effort to preach to people’s felt needs and to be a positive and relevant force in people’s lives.”
By 1990, the influence of Schuller surely outshines any impact that California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos had on the self-esteem movement when his Task Force report sold 60,000 copies making it a state government bestseller.
Let us not forget that Schuller preached to over 25 million worldwide. So, who had the larger audience and thus more influence?
The results of Pastor Robert Schuller’s influence on the already century old self-esteem movement may be discovered in Self-Esteem: Why? Why Not? from Catholic Culture.org.
In 2011, Msgr. Cormac Burke, writing for Catholic Cutlure.org, said, “Self-esteem or self-worth ideas of a thoroughly secularist nature inspire educational texts in widespread use for Catholic religious instruction in not a few countries. I had the occasion some time ago to go through the books used in one country as a common syllabus for all Christians (including Catholics) for primary religious education. The Grade One book (for six-year-olds) opens not with God but with “Myself.” A tone of unqualified self-acceptance is already set in the same book: “God is happy with us”; “Thank you Lord for making me just as I am.”
Burke writes that one section heading was “Working for God: Developing Self-esteem in Ourselves and Others”.
In conclusion, it is easy to see that conservative talk show host Dennis Prager’s claim and biased opinion that the self-esteem movement started with California Democratic Assemblyman John Vasconcellos in 1986 is a fraud, since the movement had its start in 1886 — more than a century before Vasconcellos and his California Task Force issued the report on self-esteem and eight years after Pastor Robert Schuller promoted “IT” in Self Esteem: The New Reformation.
The history of the self-esteem movement spans 125 years and Vasconcellos joined the movement 104 years after its launch at the top of that mountain. By the time he entered the self-esteem arena, the movement had already gained momentum and there was no way to stop it.
In fact, Vasconcellos may have been influenced by Pastor Robert Schuller, as it is obvious millions of others were.
Vasconcellos, at best, was just another misguided individual that joined the self-esteem mob and influenced the thinking of maybe a few thousand people.
Dennis Prager and his Parrots (used as a metaphor for his fans) may believe what they want, but the facts tell a different reality. Prager is either a fraud or ignorant of the history behind the self-esteem movement, and he is misleading millions—again.
Return to The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or start with Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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